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Oniel Joseph Garcia, centenarian

Oniel Joseph Garcia, a retired Exxon Oil Co. worker and outdoorsman, died Sunday of multiple organ failure at Ma Maison, a Nottingham assisted-living facility.
Oniel Joseph Garcia, a retired Exxon Oil Co. worker and outdoorsman, died Sunday of multiple organ failure at Ma Maison, a Nottingham assisted-living facility. (Baltimore Sun)

Oniel Joseph Garcia, a retired Exxon Oil Co. worker and outdoorsman, died Sunday of multiple organ failure at Ma Maison, a Nottingham assisted-living facility.

The longtime Timonium resident was 104.

The son of a steamship captain and a homemaker, Oniel Joseph Garcia was born and raised in Violet, La., where he attended Warren Easton High School.

He moved with his family to Canton in 1923 and went to work at the Federal Tin Co. A short time later, he took a job as a clerk in the time-keeping department at the old Esso Oil Co. refinery in Canton.

While working at Esso, he attended night school at Polytechnic Institute, where he earned his General Education Development diploma.

He later joined the accounting and personnel departments, where he worked until retiring in 1962.

In the 1950s, the former longtime Dundalk resident moved to a home on Pot Spring Road in Timonium.

Mr. Garcia enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending time at a cabin he owned in Smoke Hole, Va.

He was a lifetime member of the Fish and Game Association and National Rifle Association. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of the Moose, Lion's Club, American Legion and Knights of Columbus.

On his 100th birthday, Mr. Garcia explained that the secret to longevity was to "keep moving and have two ounces of whiskey a day."

"He never smoked and liked his VO [whiskey]," said his daughter, Constance "Connie" Garriques of Timonium. "He loved his steak and prime rib and at every meal had a starch and a vegetable."

His wife of 68 years, the former Helen J. Poplovski, died in 2002.

Mr. Garcia was a longtime communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 103 Church Lane, Cockeysville, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Garcia is survived by five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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